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Stakeholders: Nation’s image will take a hit


Reports by MAZWIN NIK ANIS, JUNAID IBRAHIM, RAGANANTHINI VETHASALAM and JUSTIN ZACK

PETALING JAYA: Tourism players say the presence of touts extorting money from unsuspecting travellers at the country’s main gateway point, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), may not spell well for Malaysia’s image.

“The presence of these individuals posing as immigration officers or simply claiming they can help in return for cash will definitely sully the image of Malaysia, especially for first-time visitors,” said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Nigel Wong.

He also called for stricter enforcement against such touts.

ALSO READ : Touts extorting money at KLIA

“While we recognise the efforts currently being made by the authorities, the recurrence of such situations clearly indicates that the problem has yet to be dealt with adequately,” he said.

“MATTA encourages stricter enforcement and harsher penalties for such individuals,” he added.

Inbound Tourism Alliance chairman Uzaidi Udanis said travellers must also be alert and report any such incidents to the authorities.

“In general, whenever a destination is popular with tourists, there will be people trying to take advantage of it,” he said, adding that touting happens in many countries.

“They (touts) tend to focus on certain groups of tourists, thinking they can take advantage of them. Tourists have to be more alert.”

He hoped that authorities would address the matter officially.

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KLIA , touts , Immigration , MAHB

   

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